WKACP's Motto is BUSTING OUR TAILS...... SAVING YOURS!
The Working K9 Association of Central Pennsylvania (WKACP) is a support organization formed to promote both Search and Rescue K9 Teams and Police K9 Teams serving Central PA and beyond. WKACP proudly offers the BEST K9 resources in Central PA. Each WKACP handler spends 4-6 hours per week training their dog(s) to be the BEST when the BEST is needed....in life threatening situations. WKACP doesn't stop there though. All of our deployable K9s are certified through recognized SAR / Police / Canine organizations. Emergency Services trust that the dogs WKACP provides can do the job and not just look good!
In addition to the amount of time WKACP puts into our dogs all WKACP's call-out-ready Search and Rescue (SAR) members are certified either through the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR) and / or through the PA Department of Natural Resources (DCNR). All call-out-ready members are trained in First Aid, CPR, Crime Scene Preservation, Map and compass orienteering, along with other specialty areas. Our Training Coordinator Myron Kyle is one of only 2 certified man trackers in the state and his expertise in sign cutting through wilderness environments is a huge asset to our SAR teams. We also have several communication specialists and emergency divers. All call-out-ready WKACP members are also required to go through FEMA National Incident Management System (NIMS) training so they know how to properly function as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) on incidents under the command of an Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Fire Department, or Police Department. We do require all of our members pass a criminal background check since they may be privileged to sensitive information while assisting on any incident.
WKACP has mastered SAR K9 and is now looking to expand into other areas of Search and Rescue to include Grid Search, Rope Rescue, Water Rescue, and other specialties. If you think you can contribute please drop us an email and we will get you an application.
The WKACP patch has two very special dogs on it. K9 Cezar represents the police dogs and K9 Che represents the Search & Rescue dogs of WKACP. K9 Cezar, the police dog and K9 Che, the SAR dog remind us that WKACP is different groups of working K9s brought together to serve emergency services. These two dogs remind us of our promise to work together to keep the emergency responders, our dogs, and the public safe.
WKACP's Mission Statement:
GOALS OF THE WKACP
1. To provide, or assist in providing, K9 resources for deployment at emergency scenes.
2. To compile and maintain a current K9 resource list for any K9 needs that emergency services in Central Pennsylvania may require.
3. To encourage emergency services to utilize working K9s where appropriate by promoting confidence, knowledge and safety in regards to all K9 deployments.
4. To increase the productivity and proficiency of all working K9s by encouraging continual training and advancement in recognized K9 certificate programs.
5. To generate public interest and support for the use of working K9s through public demonstrations, printed materials and other media.
6. To provide for the humane treatment of all working dogs in their training and work, while recognizing the calculated and accepted risks involved in some realms of emergency rescue or police work.
History of the WKACP:
The WKACP was established in 2005 after years of law enforcement in the Centre Region having trouble finding K9 resources especially for search and rescue (SAR) needs. It takes 1-2 years to train and certify a dog to do a job. The working life of a dog was usually only 5-7 years. If a K9 resource name became known and placed on a rolodex many times the dog had retired or died, or the handler had moved or gotten out of K9 work when an agency was actually calling in the middle of the night for them to respond. Police agencies began to give up on local search and rescue K9 units to respond as it was too hard to maintain a viable K9 resource list.
Besides the Search and Rescue dogs benefits, the founding members of the WKACP felt that the Centre Region could benefit from having a local training and networking group for local police dogs. There was only one narc detection / criminal tracking dog in the area and 2 bomb detection dogs and the need for more police K9 resources was apparent. The WKACP could sponsor dog training seminars for both police and search and rescue dog teams. As a non-profit agency, WKACP could fundraise to support the individual or agency dog owners that provided special working dog teams for the local emergency needs.
In March 2005 a group of founding police and civilian members came together at the Centre County Courthouse. The WKACP name and Bylaws were drafted and the real work began. Now the WKACP has been the main and many times the only resource for working dogs in the central Pennsylvania. Emergency personnel know that when they call the WKACP they will get the right K9 resource for the mission and that the dog team will be certified and proficient for the work required. WKACP members are certified thru various recognized certificate programs through DCNR, NASAR, NAPWDA, EPCA and others. All handlers are required to have CPR, FIRST AID for people and dogs, and FEMA NIMS.
Since the beginning WKACP members have been working hard to become a professional group and a "one stop shopping" for all your K9 needs in Central PA. WKACP teams can be called out for emergency responses thru Centre County Emergency Communications Center @ 1-800-479-0050.